Baseball: First-place UTSA downs Memphis, 9-6, on the road

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA Roadrunners scored four runs in the top of the ninth Friday and then held on to beat the Memphis Tigers 9-6 on the road in the American Athletic Conference.

First, Ty Tilson and Caleb Hill produced RBI singles. Later, the Roadrunners added two more runs when they bunted and forced a throwing error – the Tigers’ third of the inning.

With the victory, the Roadrunners (20-14, 8-2) won their 10th time in their last 13 and maintained a one-game lead in the AAC. They also snapped a four-game winning streak by the Tigers (17-18, 5-5).

UTSA was not a paragon of efficiency in taking the opener of a three-game series. The Roadrunners left 14 runners on base, including nine in scoring position. Memphis, meanwhile, was too mistake prone to take advantage. The Tigers committed six errors.

Offensively for the Roadrunners, Mason Lytle went four for six at the plate and raised his AAC-leading batting average to .409. Hector Rodriguez continued to swing a hot bat, as well, producing three hits.

The Roadrunners used five pitchers to subdue the Tigers. Ruger Riojas (7-0) picked up the win and Daniel Garza got the last two outs with a runner at third base for the save. Reliever Brayden Sanders (1-2) was tagged with the loss for the Tigers.

UTSA led by four runs entering the bottom of the sixth inning and appeared to be on its way to a comfortable victory.

Memphis had other ideas. Pierre Seals promptly delivered with a two-run homer off UTSA reliever Ryan Ward. In the bottom of the seventh, with UTSA ace Ruger Riojas on the mound, Brennan DuBose led off with a solo homer to bring the Tigers to within 5-4. Later, Memphis tied it in the eighth with an unearned run off Riojas.

Daunte Stuart ignited the rally with a one-out single up the middle. After Riojas struck out Jacob Compton, Seals stroked a hit to left field. Stuart rounded second and headed for third and kept on running on a Caleb Hill bobble in left. He scored to make it 5-5.

Leading by two runs, the Roadrunners called on freshman Diego Diaz to pinch hit with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. A left-handed hitter, he burned Tigers lefty reliever JT Durham by slapping a single through the left side to make it 5-1.


UTSA 20-14, 8-2
Memphis 17-18, 5-5

Coming up

Saturday: UTSA at Memphis, 2 p.m.
Sunday, UTSA at Memphis, 1 p.m.

AAC title race

Who’s leading the AAC baseball standings? Let’s see: UTSA is 8-2, followed by East Carolina at 7-3 and Florida Atlantic and South Florida, both 6-4.


UTSA freshman pitcher Rob Orloski started and retired only one batter and walked three before he was taken out in the first inning. He threw 18 pitches and only five for strikes.

Orloski’s outing followed an impromptu relief appearance Tuesday night in College Station against third-ranked Texas A&M.

At A&M, UTSA called on Orloski in the bottom of the ninth in a game that was tied 5-5. He retired one batter and then gave up a game-winning, solo home run to Jackson Appel. The Aggies rallied to beat the Roadrunners, 6-5.

UTSA sophomore outfielder Tye Odom, the team’s leader in slugging percentage at .630, sat out his fourth straight game as the Roadrunners opened the series against the Tigers.

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